…From the paved road our car turns towards the countryside. Lost among the crops, a narrow path leads to the town. Even in dry weather, it is not easy to go through these potholes. And when entering a country street I had to skid: the path was blocked by a ravine.
– It’s lucky that it’s Indian summer. Soon it will rain and there will be a swamp here,” sighs local resident Rashid Asainov, who met us on an all-terrain vehicle. – And after the spring flood, the ravine does not dry out until June. Do you see the ruins? This house burned down along with its owner. Firefighters could not get through because the road was damaged. This was about 10 or 15 years ago. But nothing has changed since then…
Once upon a time there was a strong collective farm in Nasakan Potma. Today only about 20 people live here. In summer, double due to summer residents. On the rubble, in the middle of the only street, Zarechnaya, people from all over the town gathered to share their painful concerns.
“We have been fighting since the 90s,” rural deputy Antonina Nevlyutova jokes sadly. “It was then that the collective agricultural lands through which the dirt road ran were divided into parts. At first the shareholders allowed us to use the road, which was still on the maps. And in the 2000s, in response to our appeals, the district authorities even promised to pave it. But it soon became clear that it was impossible: these are private lands!
Rural deputy Antonina Nevlyutova shows a thick folder of documents with which people went to the authorities in the hope of solving the problem. Photo: Nikolai Gagarin
Although, by law, country roads are not included in farmland. In 2015, the district administration even tried, through the courts, to recognize this place as municipal territory. However, the claim was rejected: at the time of preparing the cadastral plan, the 1.3 kilometer card was not demarcated or registered. And if there is no paper, then there is no path.
– Two years ago, the previous owners of the land sold their shares to the farmer. A conflict broke out with the new owner. If cars used to be able to overtake each other on the road, now they can no longer overtake each other, villagers say. – We decided to talk about this topic, they answered us, they said, thank you for leaving the passage, we have the right to plow it completely!
Until today the parties have managed to reach an agreement: the head of the peasant farm has assured that he will not touch the card.
– But who knows what will happen tomorrow? – The neighbors are worried. -We understand: the owner has the right to it, if he wants he will plow it, if he wants he will sell it. We live like on an island: on one side there is a river and on the other, a field. Bad luck island…
During Soviet times, the town’s transportation problems were solved by a bridge over the Issa River, built by a collective farm.
– Not only cars, but also combines circulated through it. Before the flood they dismantled it and put it back together,” recalls Rashid Asainov. – If we could restore it now, it would be salvation for us.
However, in the 90s a pedestrian bridge was built there. Today, this ramshackle boardwalk is the only way to communicate with the outside world and can be used all year round. On the other side, literally 50 meters away, there is a highway. Here, in front of the bridge, residents of Nasakan Darkness are forced to leave their cars overnight during muddy times.
“The ambulance also comes here in winter and out of season, and then we carry the patient across the bridge on a sleigh,” shares Antonina Nevlyutova. – We clean the snow from the streets ourselves: grab shovels and that’s it! We do not have a store, we cross this bridge to Bolshaya Polyana three kilometers away. I am a social worker, I give food to local grandmothers, I have six wards. When time permits, I cycle, but more often I walk.
“In winter, our elderly pray that nothing happens to their health,” says Ruslan Kapkaev. “If there was a complete bridge in the town, there would be no problem.”
Not only pensioners dream of this. Schoolchildren (there are three in the village) are also deprived of the opportunity to attend classes safely.
“This year I finished the ninth grade at the Bolshepolyanskaya school,” says Ramir Asainov. – We had to get to classes in different ways: on foot, hitchhiking, by regular bus, by bicycle, even in winter.
The suspension bridge is the only stable path that connects the town with the world. Ramir Asainov used it every day to go to school. Photo: Nikolai Gagarin
The villagers are confident that if the pressing issue were resolved, many of those who left would return to their small homeland.
“It’s a shame the officials have given up on us.” They have probably already given up on our town. But we live. Look how nice it is here: everything is clean, the grass is cut and the children have a lot of freedom; The men themselves have equipped them with a playground no worse than in the city,” says Antonina Nevlyutova. “We realized a long time ago that no one would do anything for us. Write it like this: our people do not want to die!
At the request of residents, the Kadoshkinsky district prosecutor’s office carried out an inspection which confirmed that, except for the dirt road through privately owned agricultural land, there are no other access roads to the village. It was observed that this road does not meet safety requirements, and in the autumn-winter and spring periods, erosion and flooding do not allow the passage of vehicles, including ambulances and fire equipment. But the authorities “do not take measures to ensure transport accessibility to the settlement.” The supervisory agency submitted a proposal to the head of the administration of the Bolshepolyansky rural settlement, although it is clear that it is unlikely that this problem can be resolved at the village level.
And the district administration responded to the collective demand of the villagers with a routine response. The document, signed by the head of the Kadoshkinsky district, Andrei Chatkin, states that “access to the village is along a country road and a pedestrian suspension bridge. <...> During a conversation with the owner of the place, it was established that he has no intention of opening the road and preventing passage.”
RG will closely monitor the evolution of the situation.